The Cost of Living Per Month in Croatia For International Students

For international students considering Croatia, the allure of its breathtaking landscapes as well as the lower living cost is undeniable. At the same time, managing finances in an unfamiliar land remains challenging. Fear not, this guide is to lead you through this financial labyrinth. From accommodation to daily necessities, we’ll delve into every aspect of the living cost in Croatia, with invaluable insights into cost-saving strategies and resources exclusively available to international students. Embark on your study adventure in Croatia confidently, armed with the knowledge to conquer financial hurdles during your academic journey.

Is Croatia a Good Country for International Students?

Croatia presents itself as a favorable option for international students, particularly considering the living cost. Life in the country is characterized by a relaxed pace, with Croatians placing value on leisure time and embracing a “work-to-live” ethos. Comparatively, the standard of living in Croatia aligns with that of other Central and Eastern European nations, albeit slightly lower than Western Europe. 

Since its accession to the European Union in 2013, Croatia has witnessed an improvement in its standard of living. Additionally, it holds the 15th position in the Global Peace Index, rendering it an attractive choice for various demographics such as families, digital nomads, retirees and of course, foreign students. The blend of historic cities with contemporary amenities, along with accessible public transportation and proximity to the rest of Europe, enhances Croatia’s appeal as a destination for expatriates.

International students can expect a decent quality of life without experiencing significant financial strain, owing to the country’s reasonable living expenses.

Check here our list of the main reasons to study abroad in Croatia

Average Living Cost in Croatia

The average living cost for international students in Croatia is around €600-€800 per month, varying based on factors like accommodation type and city. Touristic destinations such as Dubrovnik and Split tend to have higher expenses. Zagreb and Rijeka offer more affordable living options with good public transportation. 

Budgeting around €300 per month for accommodation is advisable, including utility bills. Moreover, single rooms are also priced at this range and private apartments possibly reaching €600 monthly. Public transportation costs approximately €30 for a monthly pass. 

While expenses like food, utilities, and miscellaneous items sum up to around €790 per month in Zagreb, depending on the student’s lifestyle. However, all in all, Croatia generally offers a cost-effective environment for studying compared to other European destinations.

Living Cost in Croatia: Student Accommodation

It’s worth noticing that in Croatia, students must secure accommodation before they set foot in Croatia. Ideally, they should start searching once they have secured admission at their university of choice. 

Generally, students have various options for accommodation, catering to different preferences and budgets. The primary types of student accommodation available include rented rooms, dormitories, and private housing. 

Public Student Dormitories

The most economical option for student accommodation in Croatia is public student dormitories. These dormitories, managed by Student Centres, offer shared rooms typically accommodating two students. 

Facilities may include shared bathrooms, cafeterias, gyms, and computer labs. The cost of dormitory accommodation varies across cities. However, due to limited housing capacity, not all students, including international students, can secure dormitory rooms. 

But for those fortunate enough to secure a spot in public student dormitories, the rent is highly affordable, typically around €125 per month for a shared room. Students must contact the International Cooperation Office at their chosen higher education institution to inquire about housing options.

Private Accommodation

Alternatively, students can opt for private accommodation, which offers more flexibility but at a higher cost. Private rentals vary depending on factors such as location, room size, and amenities. On average, rent for a furnished, shared flat in Zagreb ranges from €200 to €500 per month, while in other cities, it averages around €250 per month. Despite the higher cost, private accommodation offers more flexibility and privacy.

Youth Hostels

Youth hostels serve as temporary or long-term housing options, often providing discounts for extended stays. While not as common as dormitories or private rentals, youth hostels offer a budget-friendly alternative for students seeking short-term accommodation.

Finding Student Accommodation in Croatia

Securing suitable accommodation is a crucial step for international students planning to study in Croatia. Several resources and strategies are available to assist students in finding accommodation.

University Assistance: Croatian universities offer extensive support to international students in finding accommodation. They provide resources such as lists of reputable real estate agents, websites, and social media groups specializing in student housing. Additionally, universities may facilitate connections with fellow students or alumni who can offer insights and assistance in the housing search.

Online Platforms: Several online platforms and websites cater to student accommodation in Croatia. Websites like Airbnb, Erasmusu, and HomeinZagreb  offer listings for rental properties, enabling students to browse and book accommodation remotely. These platforms provide a convenient and accessible way to explore housing options before arriving in Croatia.

Local Resources: Checking local resources, such as and, can also help students find accommodation. Posting advertisements at faculties or seeking assistance from housing agents partnered with universities are additional avenues for finding suitable housing options.

Living Expenses in Croatia for International Students: Food Cost

When it comes to eating in Croatia, students should budget around €150 per month on average for food expenses. 

Here’s a breakdown of typical food costs in Croatia:

Student restaurants (Mensas)

Student restaurants in big cities in Croatia offer subsidized meals to students with a valid SMART CARD(student identity card). A daily menu in these restaurants costs approximately €0.9, providing an affordable option for students.

Eating out

Croatia boasts a diverse culinary scene, with restaurants offering both national and international cuisine. Prices vary in general between €15 and €35 for a meal, but dining out remains a pleasant experience without breaking the bank.

Grocery shopping

For those cooking at home, grocery prices are reasonable. For instance, a liter of milk costs around €0.8, and a kilogram of apples is about €1.06. Moreover, 12 eggs cost €2.13 and a loaf of bread for two people costs €0.9.

Optimizing Food Budget for International Students

To stretch their food budget further, international students can follow these tips:

  • Take advantage of student restaurants: Take advantage of subsidized meals at student restaurants by using the SMART CARD. This allows students to enjoy nutritious meals at a fraction of the cost compared to eating out.
  • Cook at home: Consider cooking meals at home rather than eating out frequently. Buying groceries and preparing meals can be more economical and allows for better control over ingredients and portions.
  • Plan meals and budget: Plan meals in advance and create a budget to avoid overspending. Look for affordable recipes and buy ingredients in bulk when possible to save money in the long run.
  • Explore local markets: Visit local markets for fresh produce and ingredients at lower prices compared to supermarkets. Bargaining may also be possible, helping students get the best deals.

Lastly, water in the public water supply system in Croatia is drinkable and of high quality. So you can drink it without any problem.

Transportation Cost and Options for Students in Croatia

Transportation for students in Croatia is affordable, with various options available to navigate the cities conveniently. Here’s what you need to know:

Cost of Local Transportation

On average, students can expect to spend around €30 per month on local transportation, making it budget-friendly for students.

Types of Transportation

In Croatian cities like Zagreb, students can utilize the following modes of public transportation:

  • Trams
  • Buses
  • City railway

They all operate throughout the day and night, providing easy access to different parts of the city. Students can purchase tickets onboard or at newsstands, with options for half-hour or hour-long validity. 

Additionally, monthly or annual passes are available at reduced rates, providing further savings for students. Taxis are also available but tend to be more expensive compared to public transportation options.

Living Cost in Croatia: Fun Activities and Leisure Spending

Croatia offers a plethora of fun activities for students to enjoy during their free time, without breaking the bank:

Outdoor Adventures 

Explore Croatia’s diverse terrain, from plains and lakes to wooded mountains and the Adriatic coastline. Students can embark on weekend getaways to nearby destinations like Slovenia, Hungary, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Cultural Exploration

Immerse yourself in Croatian culture by attending public events, festivals, and local customs. Visit theatres, concert halls, cinemas, galleries, and museums in Zagreb, the country’s cultural hub.

In terms of leisure spending, students can manage their budgets wisely:

Budget-Friendly Options

Many leisure activities in Croatia are affordable or even free. Students can enjoy nature hikes on Medvednica Mountain, relax at Jarun Sports and Recreation Centre, or engage in indoor sports at various sports centers.

Cultural Events

Take advantage of discounted student tickets for cultural events and festivals. With numerous options for entertainment, from discos to cafés, students can socialize and unwind without overspending.

Student Work in Croatia

International students have the opportunity to work part-time in Croatia through the Student Service, which connects students with potential employers. Positions offered are part-time and temporary, allowing students to balance work with their studies.

Both EU citizens and third-country nationals can access the Student Service for employment opportunities.

How Much International Students Can Earn in Croatia?

The minimum hourly wage in 2024 is €5.25, with additional compensation for work on Sundays, public holidays, and nights. Employers are required to cover health and pension insurance for student employees, along with intermediary service fees to the Student Service.

Earning Potential and Taxation

Students can earn up to €10,080 net annually without taxation on their student work income. However, additional income taxation rules apply if earnings exceed this amount. Double taxation may be avoided through treaties between Croatia and the student’s home country. For detailed tax information, students can consult the Croatian Tax Administration office.


Navigating the cost of living in Croatia as an international student can be a significant concern for many. However, with the right knowledge and preparation, it’s entirely manageable. By breaking down the various expenses and offering practical tips, this guide has aimed to provide clarity and insight into what to expect financially while studying in Croatia. Remember, while certain costs like tuition fees are fixed, others such as accommodation and daily expenses can vary depending on personal choices and preferences. Therefore, it’s crucial to budget wisely and explore all available resources, including scholarships and part-time work opportunities.

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